The work/recreation of a society

Last Monday was Labour Day and we were having a discussion in our extended household about work and rest.

One of the questions that came up in our discussion was, ‘What is the work of our society? Is there something we’re working towards as a society?’

My first reflection was that at a national level we don’t seem to have anyone leading us anywhere at the moment and that there doesn’t seem to be much of an idea about anything we’re working towards.

I think the clearest work that I can see we have to do is the work of reconciliation, which we’ve often preferred to refer to as healing. we’ve been particulalry focussed on the healing between First Peoples and Settler peoples, but there is a lot of grief between different groups in this country. Uncle Dennis reminded us that in this work Settler Peoples have got to be aware of some of the cultural baggage that can be attached to work. Our cultural values might be telling us that it’s important to get the work of healing done quickly and efficiently, but in order to even start to understand the damage that has been done we might need to slow down and spend time listening and sitting together and sharing cups of tea. It might not seem very productive, it might seem slow, but I guess it’s part of the work of re-creation.

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